WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Dr. David Shulkin, on Tuesday announced a scheduled visit to the Manchester VA Medical Center, for Aug. 4, where he will be met by the NH delegation for a tour.
The visit comes after a shake up at the VA hospital prompted by a July 16 report in the Boston Globe detailing concerns over cleanliness and lapses in care. As a result, the director and chief of staff at the facility were removed, pending the outcome of the review, and named Al Montoya as acting director.
The VAMC released a statement that says they have begun working with Catholic Medical Center to identify ways to expand local health care access for patients and secure resources to support ongoing operations due to a severe flood experienced at the medical center after a water pipe burst.
A public listening session directed at veterans and other stakeholders is scheduled for July 26 at Manchester Community College.
On Tuesday, the VA released the following statement by Shulkin:
“I appreciate the support of the New Hampshire delegation for the top-to-bottom review I ordered the day the Boston Globe article appeared less than two weeks ago.
I’ve been clear that our review of the allegations in the article will be comprehensive, transparent and brand-new, and have directed Acting VA Undersecretary of Health Dr. Poonam Alaigh to oversee it personally, including her full-day visit to the facility yesterday with two employee town halls.
VA investigators have been looking into the allegations in detail since early last week, and we are close to announcing a third-party panel of medical experts who will review their final report.
Today I have further asked the VA Inspector General to investigate the allegations as well to ensure a separate, wholly independent review, and have asked the VA investigators to expedite their own review.
This afternoon I have invited the New Hampshire delegation to join me at the Manchester facility next Friday, August 4, for a briefing and review of any preliminary findings.”